Why exactly was Marc Wadsworth expelled?


Many in the Black community and beyond  will be troubled by the news that this long term anti-racist activist was today expelled from the Labour party for 'bringing the party into disrepute'.

Wadsworth was filmed on camera accusing an MP, Ruth Smeeth of working, ‘hand in hand’ with the Telegraph in smearing the Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. The MP was deeply upset by the accusation.

To many watching the video Marc Wadsworth challenge  the MP in an accusatory way, but does it really warrant the ultimate party sanction of expelling him from the party, and being labelled an anti-Semite because the person we as accusing is Jewish, which he strongly argues he hadn’t known?

If there is any more evidence that is available in this case it might make it easier to understand the Labour party’s decision, but if, however, it is based on the video evidence, then the party have made a troubling precedent about what is deemed ‘bringing the party into disrepute’. Does that not now mean for example, that the Labour party activist in Bristol who encouraged members to take a horse whip to the Black Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees is to be expelled for 'bringing the party into disrepute'? Is heckling of any MP grounds  for expulsion? If so we're all in trouble!

I very much wish we still had the Black Jewish Forum of which I was a proud member.

It was a body that was not only able to positively influence the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry - one of our  members Richard Stone was one of the Inquiry panellists,- but more fundamentally it was a safe space where Black, Asian, and Jewish activists could meet every month to work through often difficult issues like this.  Furthermore, do so in a way that shed light on complex and contentious issues rather than the white heat that leaves one more confused than enlightened.

Simon Woolley